Take advantage of the 90-9-1 Rule
In the 90-9-1 rule the 9% are the active users. They frequently comment on posts or articles or in forums. They share ideas and have debate. They engage in back and forth discussion and give their opinions, but it is the thought leaders (the 1%) who are strong advocates of your community, product, and brand.
The 90% are the lurkers. They see and read posts from time to time, but you never really hear from these people. They just consume and they often fall in line with the opinions presented by the other two smaller segments. They might occasionally make a comment on an article or post, but they are first and foremost consumers of information.
Lurker is a negative term with unsavoury connotations and drives the impression that an entire segment of the site community are passive observers. As the basic principle is tested with the progress of the internet the ratios are changing, and various researchers and commentators have created new terms for each group. Lurkers have become learners or consumers. They may:
• download and share content elsewhere in their own network;
• observe and learn from the dialogue going on in the community;
• encourage others within their own network to join and explore the community; and/or
• learn about the community while observing and in turn make meaningful contributions over time.
These behaviours and types can inform your community management approaches and strategies. It also seems that community members often move from one set of behaviours to another at different times due to varying interests or workload demands. It’s useful to think of all your community members on an engagement journey.
It seems that the ratios may be changing over time. There are some commentators who are saying that while the basic principle is valid the ratio may be more 70-20-10. But most agree that the lurkers or learners are influenced by the participators and thought leaders. So, it is important to nurture both of these segments.
Modern Analyst has an interesting article for Business Analysts
Collaboration Incontext has an article which translates the 90-9-1 model into some new approaches.